British defense breakthrough: AI-powered satellites to deliver real-time military intelligence | Science | News




Developed by BAE Systems, each four-strong “Azalea™” satellite cluster is capable of recording visual, radar and radio frequency data thanks to its varied sensor array. On board, artificial intelligence will analyze this information to produce timely, accurate intelligence that can then be communicated to receivers on the ground in real time. In this way, the setup avoids the delays involved in conventional space-based sensors, which require several terabytes of data to be sent down to Earth before it can be processed – with the transfer process often taking many hours.

In addition, BAE Systems said: “Unlike conventional single-purpose satellites, the cluster can be fully reconfigured while in orbit, similar to how a smartphone installs a new app.

“This ensures it can deliver future customer missions and extends the life cycle of the satellites.”

Dave Armstrong is Group Managing Director at BAE Systems Digital Intelligence, a new wing of the company specializing in collecting, connecting and understanding complex data.

Armstrong said: “The Azalea™ satellite cluster will process data in space to deliver pieces of digital intelligence wherever it is needed.

“We understand how important space-based intelligence is to any domain, whether it’s informing strategic command, modifying a warship in the area, or providing real-time intelligence to forces on the ground.

“The launch of Azalea™ in 2024 will be a major step forward for the UK’s sovereign space capability.”

The space cluster, BAE Systems added, “will also increase the UK’s ability to understand the threats and dangers in, from and through space.”

In this way, the program will support the Government’s Defense Space Strategy, published earlier this year, which identified Earth observation capabilities as a priority to help protect and defend the UK’s national interests.

Last year, BAE Systems bought British satellite company In-Space Missions, making it one of a small number of UK companies with the ability to design, build, launch and operate satellites.

BAE Systems said: “The expertise that In-Space Missions brings complements the company’s existing advanced technologies and will become an integral part of its multi-domain capabilities.”

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ICEYE CEO and co-founder Rafal Modrzewski said: “ICEYE helps solve problems using data. There is a clear benefit for governments and organizations to receive accurate information when they need it, whatever the weather conditions – that’s what we bring .

“By combining our SAR technology with the security expertise of BAE Systems and the other data sources in the cluster, we can help decision makers make the right choice at the right time.”

Doug Liddle, In-Space Mission’s CEO and co-founder, added: “We are working together to create a step change in military intelligence and capability.

“Our technology will monitor adversaries, but will also provide significant civilian benefits by assisting humanitarian response missions.”



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